GOP candidate Susana Martinez is approaching the 50 percent threshold of support among likely New Mexico voters in her state's governor's race, with just a month left before the Nov. 2 election, according to a new poll conducted for the Albuquerque Journal.
Martinez, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin in May, leads Democrat Diane Denish by 6 points in the survey overall — 47 percent to 41 percent with 12 percent undecided:
Her lead grew to 49 percent to 42 percent when "leaners" — undecided voters leaning toward voting for one candidate — were included and was even wider, at 49 percent to 39 percent, among those surveyed who voted in both the 2006 and 2008 general elections.Some choice pickings from the poll's internals:
Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff says those regular voters are the most likely to participate in this year's general election.
"When one looks deeper into the numbers, Susana's lead tends to increase," Sanderoff said.
Midterm elections, such as this year's, historically have lower turnouts than presidential elections, Sanderoff said, and that means Denish could lose some support from Democratic voters, who outnumber Republicans and independents in New Mexico, if they don't turn out.
"If turnout is low in this election, then Martinez's lead will widen," he said. "For Denish to narrow this gap, her campaign must increase the turnout of at-risk Democratic voters significantly."
A Journal Poll taken one month ago also found Martinez apparently leading, 45 percent to 39 percent.
• Martinez had a 48 percent to 39 percent lead among men and appeared to lead among women, with 45 percent support to Denish's 42 percent.A Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday shows the Martinez lead to be at 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent.
• 83 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Martinez, compared with just 5 percent for Denish. Democrats were less unified, with 68 percent for Denish and 19 percent for Martinez.
• Martinez had a wide lead among independents, who favored her by 52 percent to 33 percent.